Eagles Stay or Go — Two veteran skill players

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Eagles Stay or Go — Two veteran skill players

Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro continue our series examining the future of the world champion Eagles.

Torrey Smith
By any definition, Smith had a disappointing regular season, averaging about 27 yards with just two touchdowns, way too many drops and only three games with more than 35 yards. But in the postseason, he averaged 52 yards with one touchdown, no drops and three games with more than 35 yards. Yep, three of Smith's six-best games were in the postseason. I can't imagine any scenario where Smith plays at the $5 million the Eagles owe him. Not with Mack Hollins waiting in the wings. If he'll take a pay cut? Maybe. But my gut feeling is the Eagles move on.

Verdict: GOES

Dave: Smith caught 36 passes for 430 yards and two touchdowns last season and kind of provided the deep threat the Eagles wanted. And he is really good at drawing pass interference calls. But he also dropped seven passes this year and some of them were huge. There's also the matter of his contract. In 2018, it's basically a team option for $5 million. Is Smith worth that much? Probably not. 

Verdict: GOES

Darren Sproles
I don't care how old he is or what injury he's coming off, Darren Sproles should finish his career on his own terms, in an Eagles uniform. Sproles says he wants to play another year, and as long as he's still productive and is willing to accept a hometown discount, I'm all for it. I consider Sproles an all-time great combo player, and the impact he's made just in 49 games in an Eagles uniform is massive. Hope he stays.

Verdict: STAYS

Dave: This is a tough one. If Sproles is willing to come back this season and play on a reasonable deal, the Eagles could definitely use him. Corey Clement and Jay Ajayi have the ability to catch out of the backfield, but not like this guy, who is still a matchup nightmare this deep into his career. He's also one of the most respected guys in the locker room. Even though Blount had the better season, you could argue bringing back Sproles would make more sense, especially with his ability as a punt returner. I just think it's more likely he moves on and finds a new home to finish his career. 

Verdict: GOES

Caleb Sturgis
Doug Pederson has already said Jake Elliott will be the Eagles' kicker next year and the team will move on from Sturgis, who was actually a pretty consistent kicker in his two years here. He made 84.8 percent of his field goal attempts, third-best in franchise history (behind Cody Parkey and Alex Henery) and was 7 for 11 from 50 yards and out. Only David Akers has made more 50-yarders in an Eagles uniform. It was a good run, but it's Elliott's turn.

Verdict: GOES

Dave: Poor Sturgis had been a pretty good kicker for the Eagles but he became Wally Pipp. He got hurt in the season opener and had to sit back and watch as rookie Elliott became a hero and then stole his job. Sturgis should be healthy now and he's been good in his career, so he should find an opportunity somewhere. But the Eagles' job belongs to Elliott now. 

Verdict: GOES

Terrell Owens digs deep to find his Hall of Fame presenter

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Terrell Owens digs deep to find his Hall of Fame presenter

A day after we found out that Brian Dawkins picked Troy Vincent to introduce him at the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony this summer, Terrell Owens has picked his presenter. 

No surprise: It's not Donovan McNabb.

After alienating many people in the league throughout his tremendous career, Owens picked a name from his early days. Longtime NFL assistant coach George Stewart, who was Owens' receivers coach in San Francisco, will introduce T.O. at the 2018 induction. 

In a video released by the Hall of Fame, Owens said Stewart "knew what to get out of me."

Now special teams coordinator and assistant head coach for the Chargers, Stewart has been an NFL coach for three decades. He began his time in San Francisco in 1996 (Owens' rookie season) as a special teams coach but was their wide receivers coach from 2000-02.

"Things that George Stewart may say, it may be shocking to a lot of people, but not to him because he knows who I am," Owens said. "... To know who Terrell Owens is, you really have to spend some time with him. Fast forward, George Stewart became a father figure to me."

The first season Stewart became the 49ers' receivers coach, Owens went to his first of six Pro Bowls and was named an All-Pro for the first of five times in his career. Owens was a Pro Bowler and an All-Pro in all three of the seasons that Stewart held the position in San Francisco. 

Of course, Owens' growth under Stewart led to his becoming one of the biggest stars in the NFL.

Eventually, Owens forced his way out of San Francisco and got to Philadelphia. With the Eagles, Owens had a short and tumultuous two seasons, but was also dynamic on the field and nearly helped them pull off a Super Bowl win over the Patriots. 

Owens averaged 93.5 receiving yards per game during his time in Philadelphia, the highest average in franchise history. It wasn't his play that led to his downfall in Philly. It was his beef with McNabb, along with his attempt to strong-arm the Eagles into a new contract. 

Owens was a divisive personality for his entire career. It's likely the reason it took him three tries to make it into the Hall of Fame. Because his numbers don't lie: He's one of the best receivers of all time.

Eagles give Chris Long a raise

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Eagles give Chris Long a raise

The Eagles have given veteran defensive end Chris Long a raise, increasing his base salary from $1 million non-guaranteed to $2½ million fully guaranteed.

The move was first reported by Field Yates of ESPN and confirmed by NBC Sports Philadelphia by a source familiar with the renegotiation who added several details.

Including a $500,000 roster bonus that was also in the previous version of the contract, Long will receive $3 million guaranteed this year instead of $1.5 million non-guaranteed plus $750,000 in easily achieved roster bonuses.

The roster bonus the Eagles eliminated was scheduled to pay Long $46,875 for every game in 2018 that he was on the 46-man game-day roster.

According to the source, Long's 2018 cap figure increases from $2.35 million to $3.1 million. The $750,000 increase comes from the $1.5 million base salary increase combined with the elimination of $750,000 in "likely-to-be-earned" incentives.

That $3.1 million cap figure comes from the $2.5 million base salary plus the $500,000 roster bonus and $100,000 in pro-rated signing bonus money from his original $500,000 signing bonus.

The $500,000 roster bonus that carried over from his previous contract isn't technically guaranteed, but Long already received it on the third day of the league year (last week), so we'll call it guaranteed.

The new deal also includes $750,000 in playing-time, performance and team incentive bonuses that are considered "not likely to be earned" and which do not count against the Eagles' 2018 salary cap. 

Long's original deal, signed before last season, was a five-year contract, but the 2019 through 2021 seasons are already guaranteed to void.

Long had five sacks and forced four fumbles last year as a rotational defensive end. He wound up playing 496 snaps, 10th-most on the defense and only about 10 per game fewer than starter and Pro Bowler Brandon Graham and five per game fewer than starter Vinny Curry, who the Eagles released.

Long, who turns 33 next week, has 63½ career sacks. His 5.0 sacks last year were his most since 2013. He's won back-to-back Super Bowls the last two years with the Eagles and Patriots.